KENYA LAUNCHES BE THE VOICE WORKSHOP.
On the 31st of July, 2014 Save the Children staff from all the field offices came together at the Jacaranda Elementaita lodge to learn about advocacy. The theme of the advocacy training was ‘BE THE VOICE’ which resonated well with the participants who were eager to gain as much as they could from this workshop.
The workshop began with a welcome note from the Country Director, Mr. Duncan Harvey, who in his speech encouraged the participants to be open to new ideas and to adapt the theory of change so as to be the voice for Kenyan children. “I am thrilled by this workshop because it will equip you with the skills to allow you to be the voice: whether you are in a field location or in Nairobi. One of Save the Children’s global priorities is Advocacy. Being the voice is also clearly reflected in our theory of change. Advocacy must be in our DNA. It’s who we are.” He remarked.
This was followed by a round of introductions by all the participants after which the lead facilitator Anne Mitaru, The regional Humanitarian advisor began the training sessions. The training was well organized and facilitated with the participants actively engaging each other through group work and also shared learnings during and after the sessions including within the lunch and tea breaks.
Each and every field location present came up with an advocacy strategy after step by step training by the facilitators which ensured that everybody got to understand exactly their key objectives, goals and the strategic approach that they would use to go about their advocacy issue which was different for all the locations.
Participants also learned how to deal with the media and engage them in a session that included role play that left the participants in stitches. The workshop came to an end on the 1st of August at noon after two and a half days of intensive learning and sharing of ideas. Before the end of the workshop, participants also got a chance to come up with a video where they shared with the greater Kenya office team what they would be doing specifically in their area offices.
Zeba Siaanoi, the Director for Advocacy and Communication for the Kenya office was pleased with the outcome of the workshop and had this to say, “This was a great opportunity to demystify advocacy. I am very excited because we now have six workable advocacy strategies for each of our field locations. The beauty about this is that they were developed by staff working there so there is a sense of ownership. The last one year was one of cautious optimism in the wake of devolution; devolution is here to stay and we have no choice but to engage. And we have a plan.”
All in all, the participants and facilitators agreed that the workshop had been very successful , beneficial and an eye opener for all of them with one of them, Kevin Heraniah, the area manager for Mandera summarizing it in few but enlightening words, “Now I am able to be the voice with more conviction and confidence.”
Let us all be the voice for children.